The days of dial-up and strictly rationed internet usage are ancient history. In fact, these days it’s our time spent offline and without a gadget that’s a rarity. Have you ever wondered how much your PS4 addiction is costing you, though? We’re not talking about the effect on your social life, we’re talking energy spend.
Most of us barely give a second thought to how much our gadgets are costing us in terms of energy. But tracking your energy spend in your home with a device like a smart meter could save you precious pounds and pennies in the long-run – and who isn’t down for that?
From phone charging to late-night laptop sessions, it’s always good to be aware. Here’s how much your gadgets are really costing you.
1. Just being connected to the internet
Considering a lot of our gadgets rely on it, broadband is a big one when it comes to energy usage. And unless we’re interrogating it for cutting out mid-important Netflix binge, we usually leave it on and forget about it. Turns out that the likes of BT’s Home Hub uses around £10 worth of energy a year.
2. Charging your phone overnight
The clock finally hits 11:30pm and you decide you should probably get off Instagram and start thinking about calling it a night. But oh wait – you’re only on 11% battery and you need to be sure your five alarms are all good to go off in the morning without your phone dying. Most of us charge our phones overnight, but is it harming our bank balance as well as our battery? Say you sleep for eight hours a night, the cost of charging your phone will still only be around 0.5p. If you do that every night, it’ll set you back £1.82 a year – and you could buy a new mobile game app for that…
3. Powering up your Mac
Most of us Netflix and chill by evening and then leave our laptops to charge as we sleep. If you have a Macbook Pro and use a regular Apple Mac charger, and if we presume that you’re getting eight hours of kip a night, giving your laptop more juice ends up costing you 5p. That’s £18.25 a year if you’re charging it every day. Not the cheapest of the bunch.
4. Having a PS4 session
The clocks have gone back, which means it’s okay to have long gaming sessions without feeling like you’re going to get a vitamin D deficiency. Granted, the amount of time you spend on the PS4 will vary from person to person, but we’re going to use two hours of gaming as an example. A two-hour go on FIFA would cost you around 2p. Bear in mind you’ll also need a TV for all that gaming – to power your average 42″ LED plasma TV for two hours, that’ll cost you another 2p, so that’s 4p in total. If you decided to have a whole weekend of gaming (say 8 hours a day), that’s 32p of energy spent – something to keep an eye on if you’re a regular gamer.
5. Having your speakers ‘idle’
Unless you spend the majority of your day at home blasting out tunes, chances are you’re only using your speakers for around 3 hours a day max when you’re at home hanging out in the evenings. And most of us leave them on idle mode instead of turning them off at the power source. If your speakers use 3.8 watts of power when idle (eg. Sonos’ PLAY:1 speakers), this means that those 21 hours when you’re not actually listening to music will be setting you back 1p, which means another £3.65 added onto your yearly energy bill.
6. Forgetting about that printer
We can pretty much agree that printers are in the top 10 of minor life annoyances. Whether it’s discovering you’re out of ink the night you need to print a highly important document, paper jams or trying to work out how to even get the thing to print at all. Anyway, if you have a laser printer at home and you leave it on standby instead of switching it off when you’re not using it, you’re costing yourself around £18 a year in energy.
7. Getting grilled
George Foreman changed the food game so much that he even made it into a Mariah Carey song. How pricey is your favourite cheesy grilling gadget, though? If you’re grilling for five minutes with the 1740w appliance it’ll cost you around 2p, and if you grill once a week that amounts to £1 a year. Now that’s a spend we’re saying is definitely worth it.
To keep an eye on how much your favourite gadgets are costing to run in near real time, and spot where you could be saving energy, contact your energy supplier about installing a smart meter at no extra cost. Or, if you’re not sure who your supplier is, visit the Smart Energy GB website.